Thursday, April 24, 2008

Magnolia Grill

Tuesday night my friend and I had dinner at Magnolia Grill. We nabbed a table in the bar. No reservations required for the bar. Our table was the one farthest from the door and closest to the kitchen. Frankly, I think it is the best table in the house because we watched all the food come and go and we could see bustling activity in the kitchen. For two gourmandes that was a treat to see all of the gorgeous creations coming out of the kitchen.

Every time I've been to Magnolia Grill I've enjoyed the starters and desserts the most. Don't get me wrong: the main courses are generally lovely too, but the chef/owners excel at the first course and the last. One day I intend to sit at the bar and order each of the starters so I can try all of them. I might need someone to share in this task because that would be a lot of rich food.

Anyway, I am partial to starters because the flavors are richer, more concentrated than main courses usually are. Tuesday was no exception. My friend and I shared a pork terrine seasoned perfectly with thyme. Butter lettuce leaves garnished the plate and there may have been some pale beets too. The terrine, a glorified pork meatloaf, was thinly sliced and arranged on the plate. If you are partial to pork and to terrines like I am, then you need to run to Magnolia Grill while it is still on the menu. I'd be quite happy with a plate of terrine and the glass of white Burgundy for my dinner.

Our main courses were also delicious. We agreed that we'd each eat half of the plate and then trade. That's really fun if you can find a willing party to share his or her dinner. I generally order the fish because Magnolia Grill's fish has always been perfectly done and a delicate balance of flavors. I ordered the trout. It came with potatoes and a sauce that featured chorizo. I liked the unexpected surprise of the spicy chorizo. My fish was cooked medium rare. My companion ordered the grouper served on spaetzle. She enjoyed it very much. It was tasty, but I thought the grouper might have been a hair overcooked. As for the spaetzle, well, how can you go wrong w/ any homemade egg pasta? It is the Swabian contribution to the culinary arts!

We were too full to have dessert, alas.


Davak said...

Other than the pain to the wallet, I have always really enjoyed Magnolia Grill.

Your comments about the starters really struck a chord. The flavors are always just a little richer. Pure appetite stimulation indeed.

The exceptional service and wine recommendations have always been a big plus there for me as well.

SportsBizPro said...

I took my fiance there for our last meal before all the family came into town and it was amazing. We've been fortunate and eaten there around 10 times over the last 2 years and have never had a experience less then phenomenal.

The service is great, the food is creative and it's such a relaxed atmosphere.

Anonymous said...

We recently went to MG for dinner -also bar-seated, but had a rather disappointing experience. Both soup starters were inedible due to oversalting, the recommended pork main dish was overcomplicated, and the chocolate cake dessert was just ok - somewhat dry and utterly unmemorable. I was stunned and when I asked two friends, they too had recently had bad experiences at MG. Service was great, but the food was extremely mediocre.